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2012 retrospective – The conferences (Markus Gärtner)

On December 28, 2012, in Syndicated, by Association for Software Testing
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Following up on yesterday’s blog post, where I do New Year’s resolution in Alistair’s style, today we will take a closer look on the conferences and peer workshops I visited in 2012. And I fear there are many. I remember when I sat with my colleague Meike Mertsch in early October, and we had brainstormed conferences we could submit talks to. In the end, we knew we had to cut that list down to a reasonable size, even before counting them. There were about 50 conferences on our list.

Here are the ones I visited in the past year. I tried to group them by theme, not by date.

Testing conferences

Oh, dear, there have been plenty of those. Where should I start?

There were several new events this year on software testing. Take for example TestBash where I facilitated Testing with a stranger with Huib Schoots. The second TestBash is already scheduled for 2013, and I like a lot what Rosie Sherry put up with her Software Testing Club.

Then there was Let’s Test where I did Charter my tests! for the first time. It was so awesome seeing what is possible on context-driven testing, even and especially in Europe.

And last but not least, there was the Test-Coach Camp – an unconference on coaching testers. We did two days of open space, and I took some new insights away from it.

Test-Coach Camp preceded CAST 2012 where I did a workshop on Beyond Testing. With Let’s Test earlier that year, and CAST I somehow sensed that context-driven testing seems to have lost some of the energy – at least for me. I hope there is some new energy coming up next year.

It was different at EuroSTAR 2012 where I did the Beyond Testing workshop again. There seemed to be so many aspiring testers around, and a lot of people that I could teach a thing or two. In the end, it seemed to be a get together of some old friends.

Oh, and I got to do some keynotes this year for the first time. First, there was the German Testing Night where I did a German variation of Agile Testing – What is this anyways?. For the Ukrainian Testing Days I did the same again. And then there were the Agile Testing Days where I presented on a meme from the Matrix movie: Adaptation and Improvisation – but your weakness is not your technique.

Oh, I nearly forgot the Software Quality Days where I did a presentation that I did the first time at the Agile Testing Days in 2009 called Agile Praktiken in einem traditionellen Umfeld. That content seemed a bit far away, though – especially since I switched jobs since then.

Finally, there were two peer workshops. GATE No. 2 and DEWT 2. At the latter one I did a lightning talk on What I learned from coaching a context-driven tester – a story about how my colleague Meike Mertsch and I do coaching, and what I could tell worked for her and me.

Developer conferences

Oh, and then there were a lot of developer (and coaching) conferences as well. A lot of times I did Agile Testing – What is this anyways? there: ScanDev and XP 2012.

At ALE 2012 I did Testing with a stranger on the software that was developed in parallel to the open space. It was quite nice to provide someone real the feedback from the tester group, and we probably should have joined the development sooner.

Another unconference was SoCraTes, which I helped organizing in both years now.

The remaining developer conferences appear to be German. At JAX I did Von Benutzerzielen zur ausführbaren Spezifikation, and at XP Days Germany we had an interactive session with Von ATDD zur Outside-In Entwicklung.

Three times I paired up with one of my colleagues. At Mobile Tech Con I did Testen mobiler Anwendungen – von automatisiert bis manuell together with my colleague Sven Günther, and together with Meike Mertsch we presented Einer für ale, alle für einen at Karlsruher Entwicklertag and W-JAX.

Looking over this list, I think I will go for more German testing conferences next year. There seem to be just a few right now. I hope I can help to change that.

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